What in the name of BOD is happening? TDs accused of plot
Published 30/03/2014 | 02:30
But an inaccurate report on social media concluding there was a secret meeting of a group of FG TDs even reached Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Ministers were worried such a plot would exacerbate the crisis and cause further instability.
The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon, after Mr Shatter's badly received statement on the garda taping scandal, which was perceived to be antagonistic.
As a result, there were concerns Mr Shatter would not deliver on the expected apology to the garda whistleblowers for claiming they didn't co-operate with a garda penalty points investigation.
Four members of the so-called Fine Gael five-a-side club – a group of young party TDs who have aligned themselves together and discuss policy – were seen leaving Leinster House in quick succession on Wednesday afternoon.
But two of the TDs, Brendan Griffin and Paul Connaughton, were heading in one car to the removal of the late Fine Gael TD Nicky McFadden in Athlone, Co Westmeath.
The departures were wrongly reported on social media as the Fine Gael TDs heading to a secret meeting on the crisis.
"There was a level of paranoia. That scared the senior ministers. It was even shared with the Taoiseach," a source told the Sunday Independent.
Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe had to calm the horses as he was aware of the Fine Gael TDs' movements and knew who was gone to the funeral and to Farmleigh.
Mr Murphy initially responded to the speculation with a photo of the event on Twitter and joked about the conspiracy.
"We're all here – very sinister. BOD (Brian O'Driscoll) in on the act too," he said on Twitter.
Mr Murphy and Mr Lawlor also posed for a photo at the event, which was sent out by Fine Gael Councillor Neale Richmond with the caption: "Found two of them in Farmleigh."
But on their return to Leinster House later that day, ministers told the innocent Fine Gael TDs there was a belief for about an hour that they were plotting against Mr Shatter.
"They would have got their arses kicked," a minister said.
But a member of the group said there wasn't even talk of a meeting at any point and the misunderstanding arose from the incorrect report.
"You don't want to be tagged as disloyal. There was no question of calling a meeting," a source said.